As it usually is for the Mets in Atlanta, things weren’t easy as they rallied to beat the Braves in the kind of game they often would lose in Turner Field. The Mets tied the game in the ninth against closer Craig Kimbrel on David Wright’s fourth homer of the season and added RBI singles from Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy to win, 7-5 in ten innings. The Mets scored the game-winner when Jordany Valdespin drew a two-out walk as a pinch-hitter, stole second and scored on Tejada’s single.
ON THE MOUND: Shaun Marcum did not come up with the quality start he hoped, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 4.1 innings. … The bullpen was taxed again, giving up two runs in 5.2 innings. … Jeurys Familia pitched the tenth to earn his first major league save. … Overall, the Mets used seven pitchers.
AT THE PLATE: The Mets got homers from John Buck (10th of the season with 29 RBI), Lucas Duda, Marlon Byrd and Wright. … The Mets were 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
BY THE NUMBERS: 5: Runs scored by the Mets after two were out.
THEY SAID IT: “There’s a reason why No. 5 (David Wright) is a star.’’ – Manager Terry Collins on Wright’s game-tying homer.
ON DECK: Jonathan Niese (2-2, 3.31) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (1-0, 5.08), 7:10 p.m. ET.
The beleaguered Mets bullpen is getting help tonight with the return of Jeurys Familia to the majors from Triple-A Las Vegas. With neither starter Dillon Gee nor Aaron Laffey getting through five innings in Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Mets’ bullpen threw a taxing 10.1 innings.
To make room on the roster, the Mets demoted submariner Greg Burke, who have up three runs in the doubleheader. Burke has a staggering 7.06 ERA in 7.1 in seven appearances.
Familia opened the season on the 25-man roster, but when Aaron Laffey was brought up to take Shaun Marcum’s spot in the rotation, he was optioned to Las Vegas. Familia has pitched five scoreless innings in four appearances for Las Vegas.
Familia could offer short term and limited innings support, but the Mets’ immediate bullpen need is for a long reliever, somebody who can come in and give them three innings. Depending on the move the Mets make when Marcum is activated, they could use either Laffey or Jeremy Hefner in a log relief role.
The Mets could be getting further support in the next two weeks if Pedro Feliciano is promoted from Single-A and Frank Francisco is activated from the disabled list.
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Here’s today’s Mets lineup against Detroit at Lakleland.
Jordany Valdespin, 2b
Ruben Tejada, ss
Ike Davis, 1b
Lucas Duda, lf
Mike Baxter, rf
John Buck, c
Travis d’Arnaud, dh
Matt den Dekker, cf
Brandon Hicks, 3b
Jonathan Niese, lhp
LINEUP COMMENTS: The Mets are giving Valdespin every chance to make this team. His versatility helps him. He’s at second today and has played center and right this spring also. … Duda had three hits the other day against Houston. He’s in left today hitting behind Davis. I am wondering if Terry Collins will stack the two lefties during the season. … den Dekker again in center. He’s Mets’ best defensive outfielder, but they don’t know if he’ll hit enough. He has five hits, including a homer this spring.
Mets honored Bill Parcells before today’s game against St. Louis with an autographed No. 13 jersey (for the year of his induction into the Hall of Fame).
Bill Parcells and Terry Collins (Mets)
I met Parcells several years ago when I was advancing a Browns-Giants game for a Cleveland paper. Parcells seemed pleasant at the press conference, even thought I introduced myself as a Cleveland writer.
An hour later I was sitting in an end zone seat talking to a Giants writer while watching practice in the Meadowlands.
There was a shrill whistle. There are always whistles at football practices so I didn’t pay it any attention.
Then I heard this voice shouting, “Cleveland, Cleveland).’’
I looked up to see Parcells at about the 40. He was walking and waving his arm while screaming, “Cleveland, Cleveland, get out of here.’’
I had just been kicked out of a Giants practice. Yet, another brush with greatness.
Zack Wheeler was one of the ten the Mets re-assigned to the minor league camp this morning.
In addition to Wheeler, also sent down were: Collin McHugh, Gonzalez Germen, Darin Gorski, Elvin Ramirez, Wilfredo Tovar, Hansel Robles, Juan Lagares, Cesar Puello and Reese Havens.
WHEELER: Sent down today.
The highly-touted prospect acquired from San Francisco for Carlos Beltran two years ago expressed disappointment, but not surprise at the demotion. After all, GM Sandy Alderson has said several times Wheeler would not be rushed.
“I expected it,’’ said Wheeler. “They told me this at the start of spring training.’’
Wheeler, who has been sidelined with a strained oblique, threw off the mound this morning at Port St. Lucie.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen spoke with Wheeler this morning to offer some homework advice.
“I told him to work on his secondary pitches and fastball command on both sides of the plate,’’ Warthen said.
Here’s today’s lineup against the Cardinals:
Marlon Byrd, rf
Justin Turner, 2b
Collin Cowgill, cf
Lucas Duda, dh
Andrew Brown, lf
Brandon Hicks, 3b
Zach Lutz, 1b
Landon Powell, c
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Shaun Marcum, rhp